The IT help desk can either be a thorn in your side constantly holding back business operations or be a key tool in coordinating support activities and creating value by minimizing end-user disruption. There are middle grounds, of course, but any help desk that is not driving process efficiency for support teams is failing to deliver a return on investment that can prove invaluable in aligning business and technology capabilities.
With this in mind, here are a few ways - ranging from incredibly simple to cutting-edge solutions - that can help you improve your help desk:
1. Deploy a Formalized Ticketing System
This falls clearly in the simple category, but it is something that many mid-sized organizations have failed to do for years, and the reason is pretty basic too - advanced ticketing solutions were an enterprise-class tool. Mid-sized organizations have long been unable to afford good ticketing systems and have, therefore, relied on homegrown solutions like those built out of email or SharePoint clients. Simple, high-quality and cost-efficient help desk tools have been emerging in recent years and effective ticketing systems are increasingly available at a price point, and with technological simplicity, that makes them available for small- and medium-sized businesses.
2. Invest in Incident Management
In a move that falls squarely between a longstanding, simple solution and a complex modern one, implementing an incident management platform gives help desk personnel the tools they need to prioritize service requests. A good incident management system takes the basic organization and process efficiency capabilities driven by a ticketing solution and expands them to a considerable degree. This is possible because incident management solutions compile tickets in a way that helps support teams prioritize more effectively, track how incidents are being handled and gather basic information about different incident types an organization faces.
3. Use Business Intelligence Systems
Growing your help desk into an enterprise-grade service desk solution that can deliver ROI is the next step. And adding advanced analytics to a service desk solution is the new focus of the maturing IT organization. Now we're talking about a cutting-edge solution - business intelligence.
BI tools provide vital, in-depth analytics data about a company's ticketing. With this information on hand, managers can more easily coordinate operations, develop staffing strategies and anticipate times when the service desk may be especially busy. Analytics capabilities may be one of the big new trends impacting IT, but they aren't necessarily so new that they are inaccessible for organizations without lots of cash on hand. Instead, service desk systems that can add BI suites are becoming more accessible and easier to deploy.
Your organization's IT maturity may dictate what path you take to upgrade your help desk, but with diverse solutions ranging from simple to cutting edge, you will quickly find that there are plenty of options out there.